EAST HARLEM — A dozen local mom-and-pop restaurants are offering up their best dishes for $8 during the second annual Uptown Restaurant Week, which kicked off on Monday.
The event, in its second year, is meant to promote local eateries, most of which are minority-owned, according to organizers at Uptown Grand Central, a coalition of small business owners, residents and cultural institutions.
“More than 80 percent of our small businesses are African-American or Caribbean-owned,” said Marlyn Rogers, owner of East Harlem's Sister’s Cuisine.
“We want to highlight that fact, plus draw attention to items on the menu that people may have not tried before.”
Uptown Restaurant Week launched Monday and will run through Friday, Feb. 10.
The menus are wide-ranging, highlighting the African and Caribbean culture in the area, such as pepper steak and jerk chicken dishes, but also boosting vegetarian and healthy food options, business owners said.
“People say you can’t eat healthy in Harlem,” said Davie Simmons, owner of Uptown Veg and Juice Bar. “But we’ve been here feeding families for two decades now.”
The organizing group is also offering a free “Fresh Food Box,” which contains local, in-season vegetables, to the first 10 people who post a selfie of themselves with their restaurant week meal to Instagram and tag @uptowngrandcentral.
Here is a list of the participating restaurants and their specials:
► Sisters Cuisine (@sisterscuisineharlem)
Where: 47 E. 124th St.
Special: Jerk, curry or stewed chicken, plus vegetables and rice and peas.
► Jahlookova Organic (@jahlookova)
Where: 1962 Madison Ave.
Special: Vegetarian patty made with spinach, ackee, lentil, split pea and other veggies (vegetarian protein is optional), plus a three-ingredient fresh smoothie.
► Uptown Veg (@uptownvegharlem)
Where: 52 East 125th St.
Special: Your choice of vegetarian protein, vegetable and starch off the extensive Caribbean and American soul food buffet.
► El Patio Dominicano (@elpationyc)
Where: 1936 Madison Ave.
Special: Pepper steak, sweet plantains, and rice and beans.
► Hot Bread Kitchen (@hotbreadkitchen);
Where: 1590 Park at 115th St.
Special: Grilled cheese on your choice of Hot Bread Kitchen’s freshly baked breads, plus sweet Mexican concha and coffee.
► Sprinkle Splash Sweet Shoppe (@sprinklesplash)
Where: 1590 Park Ave.
Special: Hot turkey and cheese croissant, plus vanilla or chocolate cupcake and coffee.
► Charlie’s Place (@charliesplacesushi)
Where: 1960 Madison Ave.
Special: Chicken katsu plate including shrimp teriyaki and dumplings.
► Crepe Master NYC (@crepemasternyc)
Where: 2029 Fifth Ave.
Special: Crepe Suzette plus Calpico, a Japanese yogurt lemonade.
► Lady Lexis Sweets (@ladylexissweets)
Where: 1931 Madison Ave.
Special: Soup, salad and sweet treat.
► Wild Olive Market (@wildolivemarket)
Where: 10 E. 125th St.
Special: Panini of the day, plus garden salad.
► Harlem Art Café (@harlemartcafe)
Where: 17 E. 125th St.
Special: Waffle with fruit, eggs and turkey ham or turkey.
► UGCeats (@ugceats)
Where: 1674 Park Ave.
Special: “Urban Garden” plate of salads, hummus and cheeses, inspired by East Harlem community gardens and the family’s Greek heritage.